Our Free Library of Resources for the Blind and Visually Impaired

The Braille Institute library offers Braille books, audio books, computers, and numerous other services and resources that can help those experiencing vision loss.

White earphones with stack of books


If you are already registered as a Library patron, browse our catalog of Braille Books, Audio Books and Digital Books.

Library Services

The Braille Institute library for the blind and visually impaired has numerous services that can benefit everyone. We encourage you to visit us today and see how you can take advantage of the following services:

Browsing Area – Check out up to 2 digital books, 5 recorded cassettes and 2 braille books from a large selection of genres and authors.

Patron Computer – Reserve our patron computer for online job resources and more.

Wi-Fi Connection – Bring in your personal laptop and access the internet for free in one of our quiet reading areas.

Expert Reader Advisors – Meet one of our friendly and knowledgeable Reader Advisors at the Library front counter to select a book just for you!

CCTV – There are three CCTV magnification stations available for patrons to read print.

BARD Station – Not signed up for our Braille and Audio Reading Download yet? You can complete our online application in just a few easy steps at the BARD station.

Scheduled BARD Sessions – BARD sessions are available every month, to help you learn the process of downloading digital books. Sign up today!

SHELF Project – Beside having access to books from NLS, you can now download locally produced books.

How to Use The Braille Institute Library

The best way to use the library is to prepare a list of books you would like to order and then call us at 1(800) 808-2555 or (323) 660-3880.

You can also e-mail book orders to readers@brailleinstitute.org.

You can tell your Reader Advisor the name of the person for whom you are ordering and then tell us what you would like to order.

You may also order books directly from our online catalog.

You are welcome to call as often as you like and order as many as 10 books per phone call. The Braille Library does not place any restriction on the number of braille books or books for the visually impaired that you can have checked out at any given time but we do ask that you return each book within its one-month loan period.

If you receive Talking Book Topics, Braille Book Review or the yearly catalog, you can use them to create a list of book numbers (for books on tape) or BR numbers (for books in braille). If you do not know the numbers for the books you would like, then you can make a list of specific titles and authors. Your reader advisor can find any book in our collection by title, author, or BR number. Once your selection is found, we will arrange to have it mailed to you, if it is available, or put your name on the wait list if it is not available. Once it is mailed to you, your selection will take about two weeks to arrive.

To pick up books at the Library call us the day before you come, and we will have your available selections ready for pick up at the Library counter. Here is a list of our Regional Branch locations.

Library FAQ’s

What is the loan out period?

You may keep books on loan for one month. No fines are levied for late books, but you are urged to observe this loan period so that materials can be supplied to other users. Books obtained through interlibrary loans may be kept for 60 days and must be returned promptly.

How do I return my materials?

To return audio or braille books in the mail at no cost, simply reverse the mailing label on the mailing container and put it in a postal box. Do not include correspondence inside the containers.

How do I care for book machines and perform maintenance?

  • Don’t expose your machine or books to extreme heat or cold.
  • Be sure to listen to the recorded instructions supplied with your unit.
  • Keep food and liquids away from your machine and books.

If your machine needs repair, please do not attempt to do it yourself or have it repaired. Simply contact the Machine-Lending Agency and we will send you a replacement.

Call us at: 1(800) 808-2555
Or e-mail us at: mla@brailleinstitute.org

Who are reader advisors?

If you ever have trouble selecting books, our Reader Advisors will be more than willing to help you. They can suggest titles based on your interests or help you find titles by your favorite authors. Call us at: 1(800) 808-2555, or email readers@brailleinstitute.org

When is the best time for me to call in a book order?

The best time of day to call is in the afternoon, Tuesday through Thursday. Mondays and Fridays are our busiest days. Around the winter holidays, the phones are especially busy with people trying to get books before they go on vacation.

Is there any way to see what books are available on the Internet?

Braille Institute’s Library now provides access to its complete collection of books online. Peruse our Online Public Access Catalog!

The National Library Service (NLS) also has a Web site, which lists all titles that are available nationally.

All of the titles available through Braille Institute’s Library start with DB for digital books or BR for braille. If you find a title that you would like that is only available through another location, you can contact our Reference Librarian, who will be happy to order the title through inter-library loan. Users are responsible for returning inter-library loans in a timely manner.

You can contact our Reference Librarian at 1(800) 808-2555.

Why haven’t I received any books in two weeks?

Our books are sent within two days of the order being placed, based on their availability. Once they leave our facility, we have no way of tracking their course. Transit time is typically 5 to 10 working days but can take longer during holidays. If you are not receiving your books regularly or in a timely fashion, please call your local post office.

How long can I keep a book?

We ask that you return digital and braille books after one month. If you need to take a little longer, we will not penalize you for that. If you have a book for over a year, you will receive a letter asking its status.

Do you need my address when I order materials?

When you call in your book order and speak with a Reader Advisor, please give them your last name, your first name, your phone number and the city you live in. Our computers are able to draw up your account on that information alone. If you call and get our voice mail, please leave your name, the city you live in, your telephone number and your requests.

What if my address changes?

Please call us if you have a change of address so we can update your Library account and send your books promptly. Braille Institute Library Services only services patrons in the Southern California area. If you are moving out of our service area, we can arrange to have your account forwarded to a cooperating NLS library that provides services at your new address. We will also provide you with the library’s address and telephone number. You may bring your digital book player with you.

Note: Please let us know at least one week in advance before you move.



Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m (PST)


527 North Dale Avenue
Anaheim, CA 92801

(714) 821-5000

Coachella Valley

74-245 Highway 111 #E101
Palm Desert, CA 92260

(760) 321-1111

Laguna Hills

24411 Ridge Route Drive #130
Laguna Hills, CA 92653

(949) 330-5062

Los Angeles

741 North Vermont Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90029

(323) 663-1111


6974 Brockton Avenue #100
Riverside, CA 92506

(951) 787-8800

San Diego

9635 Granite Ridge Dr. #130
San Diego, CA 92123

(858) 452-1111

Santa Barbara

2031 De La Vina Street
Santa Barbara, CA 93105

(805) 682-6222